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Dive Review of Peter Hughes/Sky Dancer in
Galapagos Islands/Central & Northern Islands

Peter Hughes/Sky Dancer, May, 2008,

by Dave Hayden, Kent, UK (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 4102.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Sipidan, Australia, Zanzibar, Cyprus
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 10 to 20 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions See part 1 report
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments See part 1 of report

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The instruction to prepare for the dive came over the loudspeaker and I could sense a mix of excitement and apprehension as we all made our way to the dive deck. One or two of my colleagues had struggled with their buoyancy in the central islands and were a little nervous at the obvious change in conditions. We received our call to board the pangas, which was going to be more risky than before. The panga driver controlled the boat with expert precision as it dropped and raised with the swells, sometimes bumping against the Sky Dancer. Timing and balance were key here but the crew were there to help you aboard. As we motored to the dive site, Landslide, trying to don fins whilst being tossed around the waves proved a little difficult for some, although always good fun. We were given the signal and simultaneously backrolled in and plummeted head first, straight down to the viewing ledge where we were to wait for the action.

As I descended to the viewing ledge at around 18 meters, my eyes spotted a couple of dolphins whose clicks and whistles you could hear all around. As I settled into position on the platform, my new Kevlar gloves holding tight onto the barnacle covered rock, I soon noticed the fish life here was vastly different to that of before. There were clouds of different fish, large numbers of Jacks hovering in the current. There were travellys, and mackerel darting into the schools of smaller fish. The tropical fish here would circle around your hands and face. Numerous turtles would pass you by sometimes two at a time and close enough to touch (which is strictly prohibited). White tips were common, but much bigger than Id ever seen before. Then the dive guides bell rang, grabbing our attention as hammerheads made a pass, one, two then half a dozen. Then a Galapagos Shark swam past us. When the action seemed to slow a little, the guide moved away from the ledge encouraging us to follow. The visibility was around 10-15meters, so I double checked with my buddy and we moved off into the blue together. We drifted in the fair current looking for the big stuff. We saw eagle rays, 2 and 3 at a time, turtles and lots of other great stuff like Wahoo and a school of yellow fin tuna. Then the bell rang and a school of 40/50 hammerheads was in front of us. On our ascent we could hear the dolphins, and sure enough they were soon all around us as we waited on our safety stop. As my buddy and I bobbled in the swells we just laughed. Neither of us had ever experienced a dive like that before. Everyone aboard the panga felt the same. It was truly a fantastic experience.

As we returned to the Sky Dancer, the sun now high in the sky, one or two amongst the jubilant gang appeared a little jaded. The water was rough and especially those that had not taken medication were starting to feel a little queasy. Those people had just 45 minutes to get their stomachs under control before the next dive. That time was spent by the rest of us comparing photos, videos and stories of the previous dive. All of our dives at Wolf were similar. Sometimes there would be more hammerheads than before, a couple of times we estimated there to be around hundred in a single school. Other times there would be more dolphins. On our last dive at wolf we saw 2 Manta Rays as we waited on our safety stop. One buddy pair even saw a small Tiger Shark. It was certainly excellent diving, the best most of us had ever experienced despite the visibility. That was until we visited Darwin Island.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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